This study aimed to examine the effectiveness of self-regulation skills training on motivational orientation and academic achievement of students. This is an quasi-experimental research. The population consisted of all students who were studying in the school of paramedical in academic year of 2015-16 in Sari, Iran and 40 of them were selected as samples by systematic sampling method. Data collection tool was Harter’s academic motivation scale. Data was analyzed by applying independent t-test. The results show that self-regulation skills training affect the motivational orientation and academic achievement and there is significant difference between them. Accordingly, it can be concluded that self-regulation skills training affect the students’ academic achievement and paying attention to teach these skills is essential for self-regulation and self-awareness.
One of the criteria for the effectiveness of the education system is students’ academic achievement and underachievement. So exploring and studying the different variables affecting these variables will lead to better understanding and prediction of effective variables. One type of the factors affecting the academic achievement is motivational and cognitive factors (Baghani and Dehghani, 2011). Academic achievement in courses and factors affecting it as one of the key variables in higher education have been always of interest to researchers and educational psychologies. One of the most important factors recognized in this context is self-regulation skills. Self-regulated learning, in which the role of individual in learning process is concerned, has been of interest to many researchers in academic achievement (Pintrich and Paul, 1997; Zimmerman,& Cleary, 2004). This structure can affect academic achievement and its related factors such as cognitive engagement and motivational factors (GholamaliLavassani et al, 2008). In recent years, educators and psychologists have performed much research in the field of learning issues and variables related to them and offered several theories on improving the teaching-learning process. One of these theories is self-regulated learning theory. Self-regulated theories provide the opportunities for learner in which he can improve his learning using motivational and learning approaches (Afrouz, 2007). In self-regulated learning, the role of individual in learning process is concerned. Since 1980s, some studies have been done on how motivational factors and cognitive engagement interact with each other and jointly affect students’ learning and academic achievement. On the other hand, much research have attributed the students’ academic problems to motivational and cognitive factors and tried to identify the factors affecting these variables and to strengthen them. Self-regulation approaches have been known as cognitive engagement and motivational (GholamaliLavassani et al, 2008). Self-regulation produces and directs the thoughts, emotions and behavior by self in order to reach the goal (Seif, 2010). Green and Azerdo (2007) say that although there is disagreement between experts on the theoretical definition of self-regulation, but, all of them believe that self-regulated learners are active and organize their learning effectively by monitoring and using strategy. On reciprocal determinism, personal factors such as beliefs, expectations, attitudes, knowledge, approaches, and so on, environmental events such as physical and social events and behaviors, both practical and verbal behaviors have mutual impact on each other and none of these three components can be considered as a determinant of human behavior. He called this trilateral interaction “reciprocal determinism” (Seif, 2010). Zimmerman and Rizemberg (1997) have identified six factors of self-regulation affecting academic function to optimize their studies and different processes are done through this. Motivation is classified into two groups of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation according their origins. Intrinsic motivation is an inclination to address the desires and to apply abilities in the work, to search optimized challenges and to master them. Extrinsic motivation arises from consequences such as reward and encouragement (Hassanzadeh and MahdinezhadGorgi, 2012). Given the importance of self-regulation in academic achievement, many studies have been performed. Yusefi and Firouznia (2009), in their study on motivation and academic achievement of medical students in Isfahan, reported that there is a significant relationship between the components of motivation and academic achievement of students. Samadi (2012), in her study entitled “the relationship between motivational orientation and learning approaches in explaining the academic achievement”, stated that there is a positive relationship between academic achievement and learning approaches and also motivational orientation .Zimmerman and Cleary (2004), in their study, found that one of the most important factors for the lack of academic achievement is not applying the self-regulation skills. Failure at doing homework and solving problems results in their low self-efficiency and therefore, they rely on their skills less and will have more academic problems. Leper, Courpous and Ayengar (2005) suggested that having a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation for student is more adaptive. Overall, all viewpoints on motivation have confirmed the idea that the students are aroused through both autonomous and controlled motivation. Pintrich (2003) believed that the result or outcome such as academic achievement is a result of a combination of different motivations. So, instead of trying to reject or confirm one motivation to predict academic consequences, it is better to adopt an approach to examine the combination of different motivational orientations. For this, he suggested person-centered approach. In this approach, the characteristics, competencies and behaviors as well as how to combine these variables with each other are focused (Hassanzadeh and MahdinezhadGorgi, 2012). Fouladchang (2003), in her study entitled “the effects of self-regulation skills and increase in self-efficacy beliefs on the academic performance of high school students”, showed that the experimental group which did self-regulation skills training for 6 sessions, had better performance than control group. About students, cognitive skills –self regulation- and academic motivation are very important, because the students find the necessary incentives to achieve an educational purpose or a certain degree of competence in their work to succeed in learning and achieve academic achievement. The main subject of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of self-regulation skills training on motivational orientation and academic achievement of the students studying in the school of paramedical in Sari, Iran. In this study, three hypotheses were examined and discussed.
Self-regulation skills training increase the students’ intrinsic motivation.
Self-regulation skills training increase the students’ extrinsic motivation.
Self-regulation skills training affect the students’ academic achievement.
The results show that self-regulation training increases the intrinsic motivations of the students. So, the result of this study is consistent with the results of the studies by Latifian (2003), Sharifi (2006), Yusefi et al. (2009), Hassanzadeh (2002), Fouladchang (2003), Rattelle et al. (2007), Meece and BlumenFeld (1998), Bodro and Ramsted (2005) and Samadi (2012). According to Deci and Ryan (2000), when people understand themselves competent and autonomous, they tend to have intrinsic motivation. The behavior of these people are driven from within, these people will not simply allow others or outside events to influence them. Behavior motivated by intrinsic motivation, regardless of the results of activities, is along with pleasure and satisfaction (Hassanzadeh and Mehdinejad, 2012). Wenzel and Wigfield (2011) noted that intrinsic motivation is a key feature that successful people have in the academic background and progress-oriented people especially people whose their motivational orientation is innate, are self-motivated in learning. Zimmerman and Cleary (2004) reported that the learners who have intrinsic motivation, more likely have adapted cognition, stronger motivational consequences and also higher academic achievement than their classmates. Meece and BlumenFeld (1998) with use of self-regulation approaches and regression analysis examined the relationship between motivational variables in the high school students. The results show that intrinsic motivation has effect indirectly through the goals of achievement and the use of self-regulation approaches.
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